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Is It My Animal’s Time to Go? 

A question we all struggle with as animal guardians and lovers is when to let them go when their bodies start showing us signs of illness or discomfort. Knowing when it’s time to help your pet transition can be one of the hardest decisions to make… it’s also a decision an animal communicator (or anyone else) should never make for you, I don’t care how good they are at what they do.


When it comes to sending our animals onto the next journey there can be so many emotions swirling around our relationship with them. What we see, what we know from vets and outside opinions, and what we feel from them, all weighing heavy on our hearts.

I have a lot of respect for veterinarians. They have to deliver heavy news, be the ones to bring it to light, and often get the blame for things that they never said. It’s easy to pass the buck and say ‘my vet told me x,’ however, I’ve never met a vet who has blatantly made a decision for me or anyone else I know. They always give options.


The options are what mess us up, because so often in life we give our decision making power away to others. What should we feed them? How often should we vaccinate them? Should we crate them or leave them out? Should we put them with others or are they better left alone? All of these decisions can be made alongside your animal if you’d pause and allow them.


How? Get grounded first. Understand what your baseline is… how do you normally feel when your animal does XYZ, notice patterns with your animal, and learn to be the calm in the storm when things are not going perfectly for them. If you are grounded, they can reach you, because that’s where they are almost all the time.


I was going to opt not to share any of Bro’s transition story, but he reminded me that I have the ability to reach so many with my words, and that it’s important to guide others no matter how hard it might be.


Bro is my beautiful almost 18h gelding, who has always had physical issues since the day he was given to me. In fact, when I went to pick him up the manager at the barn told me, “He colics every Tuesday, so have Banamine on hand.” I know, what the fuck right? Anyway.. he was underweight, scared, in pain, and I loved him immediately.


I’ll save most of his story for another post, but lets just say we’ve had a long journey together, and I feel that I know him. I’ve always known I wasn’t at the root of his pain, though I wasn’t quite ready to hear what was truly going on, and honestly he seemed fine waiting until I was.


What I want to hi-light here are the many signs I noticed after his vet visit last week and his diagnosis:


With every click of the radiograph machine, he looked back at the doc like, ‘You’re seeing this right?’ Every. single. shot. he checked. As soon as we brought awareness to the worst spot, he sighed and relaxed. Later that day as I was crying on the ground of his stall, I started to second guess my decision and he promptly threw hay all over me.


In the days to come he played, and showed me that he could find pleasure through pain, but also that he could not roll like he loves to do. He did liberty work with me, though he tangled his legs and stepped on his feet. He grazed near my garden, and got “stuck” grazing until he spooked hard enough to free his head and neck. All things I wasn’t ready to see before, all things he hadn’t yet shown me until I was.


I didn’t need opinions of others. I needed evidence of what I already knew because of the relationship I already had with my horse.


When it comes time to help your animal transition, remember that the decision is between you and them. Set your emotions aside and really hear them, and if you can’t… there’s a reason! They might be offering you a “long goodbye” like my boy did. You’ll know, regardless of opinions, or tests, or photos. You’ll know, no need to ask anyone else but them.

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